The Edgewood Triangle Park, Dog Parks, People Parks, and Parks for All
In the middle of Edgewood, where Franklin, Lincoln, and 4th St. intersect, there's a triangle park. While the area is dotted with triangle parks, the Edgewood Triangle Park is the largest at about 52,000 square feet.
At the January ANC 5E meeting, I plan to introduce a Resolution to (1) fund park improvements and (2) support a community input process - led by the Department of Parks and Recreation ("DPR") and the Department of General Services ("DGS") - so residents can determine how best to improve the park. You can find a draft of that resolution here.
Below is some background and additional information on the park itself and the related Edgewood Dog Park application. If you have any thoughts, questions, or input, please reach out to me by email (5E01@anc.dc.gov) or attend the ANC 5E meeting on Tuesday, January 21 at 7pm at Friendship-Armstrong Public Charter School (111 O St. NW).
If DC allocates funding, what would the improvements be?
Pretty much, whatever residents decide. Fencing. Lighting. Picnic tables. A "shade structure" or pavilion, like this one at Noyes Park. Grills. Trash cans. Drinking fountains. Community events bulletin board. Art. New landscaping. A sign for the Edgewood neighborhood (if Eckington or Brookland can have signs, Edgewood can too). A statute (in fact, our own Councilmember is promoting legislation on this issue). Or other things that I haven't mentioned or even thought of.
The draft Resolution includes two suggestions as to the amenities: whatever they are, they should compliment the amenities at the new Edgewood Recreation Center, and they should incorporate as much as possible existing park features (including the walking paths, benches, trees, and other upgrades from a few years back as part of the Chancellor's Row PUD and other community groups).
Edgewood is rapidly growing and continues to add housing and residents, pulling more than its weight in addressing DC's housing shortage. Some of this development has come at the expense of our existing green space and "informal" dog parks - particularly near Holy Redeemer College on 7th St. NE and soon, along 4th St. NE by Lee Montessori and WLA. This leads to more residents looking to use a dwindling supply of available park space. It is important to continue to invest in our existing community spaces to benefit of all residents.
Where does a dog park fit into all this?
It's a potential amenity! In the early planning stages of the new and improved Edgewood Recreation Center, some residents wanted to incorporate a dog park on the grounds of the new Rec Center. For various reasons, that didn't happen. So residents launched an effort to build support and submit an application for a dog park across the street from the new Edgewood Rec Center, within the Edgewood Triangle Park.
In 2015, residents began collecting petition signatures. In 2016, residents submitted an application for a dog park in Edgewood, and ANC 5E supported that application. And in 2017, DPR approved the application for a dog park within the Edgewood Triangle Park. You can find all the relevant materials related to this effort here.
But dog parks don't fund or build themselves. So for the past couple years, residents have pushed for funding in DC's annual budget, and have reached out to elected officials (including me) to make that happen.
Where and how big would a potential dog park be?
DPR approved a 6,000-8,000 square foot dog park. The entire Edgewood Triangle Park is roughly 52,000 square feet. So the dog park (if built) would occupy approximately 15% of the full Edgewood Triangle Park.
The current proposed location for the park would be along Lincoln Rd., on the side of the park near the Trinity University campus. You can see a proposed location map here.
What does the proposed resolution do?
Two things: (1) the Resolution requests funding to make meaningful improvements to the entire park; and (2) supports a community input process - an open house, surveys, etc. - to determine what residents want in the park. This would be led by DPR - an agency with the resources, budget, and experience to collect community input.
The Resolution doesn't mention a dog park. Why is that?
Because residents should get to decide what they want in their park. Like any community, different people have different views on what they want to see in a park, and it's important to make sure that all of those voices are heard. I've spoken to and heard from many residents who would love to see a dog park in Edgewood. And I've spoken to residents who enjoy the park as a spot for family gatherings, cookouts, and as a quiet place to sit. And dozens of other opinions. The park is large enough to accommodate all of these uses, and we want to ensure a process that allows residents to weigh in directly to the relevant agencies (DPR and DGS) and a budget sufficient to accommodate all residents.
What about next steps?
The Mayor & Council are currently in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget process; the fiscal year starts on October 1, so any money put into this year's budget would be available in late 2020/early 2021. Once funding is secured, though, DPR and DGS could gather community input.
The details of that process are "to be determined," but I like what DPR has done for Bruce Monroe Park, where they hosted a community forum and launched an online & paper survey this fall. DPR recently launched a similar process for the triangle park at 14th, Rhode Island, and Brentwood, as well as the Edgewood Recreation Center. Allowing residents to work directly with the responsible agencies and architects is, I believe, the best way to design a community park.
How can I share my thoughts or voice my support?
If you have any thoughts, questions, or input, please reach out to me by email (5E01@anc.dc.gov) or attend the ANC 5E meeting on Tuesday, January 21 at 7pm at Friendship-Armstrong Public Charter School (111 O St. NW).